Stress and anxiety: Same same or different?

Stress and anxiety are interchangeably used in our daily conversations. However, do you know that while they’re related, they have different meanings? Did you also know that stress causes an emotional state of anxiety, impacting our physical vitality, and especially our gut health? The good news is that as a society, we’re opening to the awareness that our bodies are highly capable of healing themselves. We now have access to scientifically proven techniques that can help us self-regulate our emotions, so we can learn how to feel less stressed when triggered but also learn how to lower anxiety when stressed.

Written by Priyanka Tiku Gupta, Expert Contributor
We’re inviting expert contributors within the fields of nutrition, movement and mental health to share their knowledge and insights with you – our audience. These contributors are hand-picked, and we believe their expertise can provide value to you, our reader.

Stress and anxiety explained

Stress is a physiological response to a demanding or threatening situation, and it is a normal and natural reaction that can help you cope with challenges in your life. When you experience stress, your body releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which increase your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate. Various factors, such as work pressure, financial worries, or relationship problems, can cause stress.

Anxiety, on the other hand, is a feeling of unease, worry, or fear. It is a mental and emotional response to stress. Anxiety can be a normal and healthy response to certain situations, such as a job interview or a first date. However, when anxiety becomes chronic or excessive, it can interfere with your daily life and become a mental health disorder. Anxiety symptoms may include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and physical symptoms like sweating or trembling.

In summary, stress is a physical response to a demanding situation, while anxiety is a mental and emotional response to stress. While stress can be a normal and helpful response, anxiety can become a mental health disorder if it becomes chronic or excessive.

Impact of Stress and Anxiety on your gut

Research suggests that stress and anxiety can affect the immune system in the gut. Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, while anxiety can trigger an immune response that can cause inflammation in the gut.

Understanding how stressed you are

Here’s a scientifically developed assessment tool from the HeartMath Institute that gives you a snapshot of your current level of well-being and stress;

HeartMath Institute developed this short survey to help people understand how four dimensions of their well-being (stress management, adaptability, resilience, and emotional vitality) affect their overall quality of life. This scientifically developed survey has 25 questions and only requires 4-5 minutes.

Once you complete the survey, you will be given a colorful visual “report card” that shows how you’re performing in each of the four dimensions. It then provides you with a set of personal recommendations (based on your scores), with links to tools and empowerment materials to help you improve your well-being and transform your stress to higher levels of energy and creativity.

Move from feeling anxious to a state of balance and calm

The HeartMath Institute also teaches us how to activate the state of ease to serve each of us as a refuge for action in our hearts and minds. Instead of reacting in the same old ways to the stresses and challenges of our harried world, we can take a little time to connect with the qualities of our hearts — love, care, and compassion — and our hearts’ wisdom.

The Heart MathInner-Ease™ Technique

Here’s a quick & easy-to-learn way to add ease to your life by practicing Heart MathInner-Ease™ Technique. It takes only a short amount of time.

  1. If you are stressed, acknowledge your feelings as soon as you sense that you are out of sync or engaged in common stressors such as feelings of frustration, impatience, anxiety, overload, anger, being judgmental, mental gridlock, etc.
  2. Take a short time-out and do Heart-Focused Breathing:
    1. Breathe a little slower than you normally would.
    2. Imagine you are breathing through your heart or chest area.
  3. During Heart-Focused Breathing, imagine with each breath that you are drawing in a feeling of inner ease and infusing your mental and emotional nature with balance and self-care from your heart.
  4. When stressful feelings have calmed, affirm with a heartfelt commitment that you want to anchor and maintain a state of ease as you re-engage in your projects, challenges, or daily interactions.

In summary,

  1. Stress and anxiety are related but different
  2. Our inner state of emotional being impacts our physical health, and anxiety and stress are known to impact our gut and immunity
  3. Each of us can self-regulate our inner state of being and transform from feeling fear to feeling inner ease

About Priyanka Gupta Tika


After over 20 years of real-world International experience across global media, consumer marketing, business management, and leadership, Priyanka felt disconnected & decided to break away from corporate life despite having it ALL to pursue her passion for empowering people. She is now a founder of PTG Wellness, which inspires individuals, teams, and organizations to reclaim their power, achieve their goals & thrive in a new state of being.

Blending her global corporate and founder experience with her international certifications in coaching (ICF, NLP, HeartMath), alternative healing (EFT, Reiki-ll, and Silva Holistic Healing), Priyanka offers a unique blend of expertise and insights to transform you from feeling stuck to feeling limitless.

Follow Priyanka on Instagram.

Super Synbiotics: The Perfect Addition to Your Daily Routine for Optimal Gut Health

Looking to boost your energy and get rid of uncomfortable bloating? Taking care of your gut health might just be the solution you've been looking for. A balanced and strong gut flora is crucial for optimal health, and to achieve that, you need to nourish it with a daily dose of pre- and probiotics. While a healthy diet is a great start, sometimes you need an extra boost to make sure you're getting enough of the good stuff. That's where Synbiotic15 comes in.

By taking Synbiotic15, you'll experience a host of benefits, including a stronger immune system, better digestion, reduced inflammation, healthier skin, and relief from common stomach issues. This all-natural supplement is made from a unique blend of four patented lactic acid bacteria and four grams of prebiotic fibres that serve as nourishment for the good bacteria in your gut. And with over 20 years of research behind it, you can trust that it's a proven solution to help you take control of your gut health.

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